If you missed medical appointments due to COVID-19, it's time to consider rescheduling them as doctors’ offices and health care facilities are re-opening in accordance with state and local guidelines. While it might be tempting to avoid the doctor's office during the pandemic, you'd hate to suffer the consequences of missing treatment for a preventable condition when safe care can be obtained. Here are some changes you should see in medical offices and tips to help you minimize risk while resuming your health care.
Medical Offices and Staff Changes
- Protocols are in place to help with patient and staff safety
- Limited number of patients in the waiting room
- Maintaining social distance of at least six feet between patients
- New entrance or exit to minimize contact with other patients
- This is critically important: Staff will be wearing masks. California’s Department of Public Health is now mandating “…all healthcare providers and staff must wear appropriate PPE at all times, consistent with CDC universal source control recommendations.”
Sometimes staff forget to pull their mask up or it slips below their nose. It's human to make mistakes, but your medical team does need to be properly masked to protect your health. Speak up if something isn't right!
- If you aren’t sure whether or not you need to see your doctor, call your doctor’s office and ask. Your appointment may be in person or take place on a smartphone, computer-based video, or other digital device.
- If you have an in-office appointment, call ahead to ask what precautions will be taken to minimize risk, such as waiting in your car until your appointment or contact-free check-in.
- You and anyone accompanying you should always wear a mask.
- Wash your hands before and after the appointment.
- Whether your appointment is on-line or in person, communication with your doctor should be open and honest. Ask questions, and keep asking them, until you understand the answers.
Read California’s Department of Public Health Guidance for resuming deferred and preventive health care for more detailed information about re-opening health care facilities.
Don’t delay resuming this important part of your life. Avoiding care will lead to unnecessary risks or missed diagnoses.